Ratnapura (City of gems in English) being the gateway to the hill country from the Southern plains, it is considered the capital of Sri Lankan Gem trade. Sri Lankan gem mining has a history of least 2000 years recorded in various forms, including Mahawansa, the ancient chronicle of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has produced three of the world’s largest blue sapphires, including the “Blue Belle of Asia” which adorned the British crown and holds the world record for any Sapphire sold at an auction, as well as the “Star of India”, displayed at the New York Museum of Natural History
Apart from the centuries long gem trades and mines, Ratnapura is also famous for large tea and rubber plantations that surround the city, with the help of a considerably higher rainfall of 4000-5000mm annually, which also creates lush greenery and stunning waterfalls such as Bopath Falls, Katugas Ella Falls and Kirindi Ella Falls to name a few.
Ratnapura is located approximately 85km from Colombo and can be accessed through via Panadura and Awissawella. Ratnapura can also easily be accessible by bus from Colombo throughout the day